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Guest Column: What threat? What debate?

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: What threat? What debate?

By Brendan Owen Doherty

Possibly, I’m strange. I seem to think we’re supposed to have some sort of debate before we decide if we want to go to war. Unless we are blatantly blood-hungry murderers with no regard for our own moral responsibilities or self-respect, shouldn’t we charge our Congress with representing this debate? Isn’t that the sort of thing we pay them for? Maybe it’s just me, but I thought we had some sort of revolutionary democratic republic here.

I guess I just haven’t been inebriated by so many decades of abstracted and managed threats, like nuclear war, the Red Menace, body bags, Drugs for Guns, Drugs for Oil, etc. Osama Come-Lately. Everyone seems to think the War on Terrorism is this year’s model of the (ever-failing) War on Poverty, Illiteracy, Drugs, etc. As if switching to yet another invisible, faraway enemy will somehow protect us from the gross consumption of our taxes, our rights and our welfare. Our SUVs can drive right over this.

I’ve heard rumors that this war on Iraq is a mega-sham, designed to waste our lives and oil in the pursuit of another pipeline. I’ve heard the same for Afghanistan. Wasn’t it the USA that gave Saddam Hussein biological and chemical weapons in the first place? Wasn’t it the USA which sought to deny all responsibility for Gulf War Syndrome? Didn’t the USA go into Iraq once before, with seven conflicting reasons, deciding to keep Hussein in power? Isn’t it true that Hussein didn’t kick out the UN weapons inspectors, but that the USA pulled out on its own, after flying illegitimate bombing raids? Wasn’t Hussein shown to have no nuclear weapons? Isn’t it true that the only possible al-Qaida agent in Iraq was killed months ago? Correct me if I’m wrong, but we haven’t caught Osama bin Laden yet, although the Bush family has been in bed with the rest of his family, and his country. Isn’t it the pharmaceutical industry that has been pushing both biological weapons and their vaccines? These issues couldn’t possibly have any merit, or else we’d be discussing them, right?

Possibly, we are not so accountable as are our representatives in Congress. I think there is general consensus at the moment that they will be voting for this war, even though it is unconstitutional; even though it flouts the UN and international law; even though it fulfills no criteria for a Just War, and even though lives shall be lost and holes will be dug, basically because they have no spines. They have bowed over backwards, to corporate money and the military-entertainment complex, thinking only to save their own tails from electoral defeat.

Call me nuts, but I don’t recall ever supporting such arrogance or the defilement of our democracy. Is it possible that others do? Is it possible that others will vote these whores back into office? I tend to think that, whether or not this war is a splash, we should not only be voting them out, but charging them as war criminals. But of course, in these sophisticated and cynical times, where up is down and wrong is right, it is the likes of me who is confused. We would rather appear god-like than be constitutionally correct. Who is strange? What is Evil? Where’s the debate?

“War is the answer!”

Brendan Doherty is a local resident.

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